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Sep. 17 2009 - 8:44 am | 24 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments

What the heck are these kids thinking?

Thanks to the good people of Beloit College, we actually do have some idea of what’s going through the heads of the nation’s newest college freshmen. The 12th annual Beloit College Mindset List recently was released, and it’s as interesting as ever. According to the Mindset Web site, the 75-item list “provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college” and is “a reminder of the rapidly changing frame of reference for this new generation.”

The introduction to the list explains, “Members of the class of 2013 won’t be surprised when they can charge a latté on their cell phone and curl up in the corner to read a textbook on an electronic screen. The migration of once independent media—radio, TV, videos and CDs—to the computer has never amazed them. They have grown up in a politically correct universe in which multi-culturalism has been a given.  Carter and Reagan are as distant to them as Truman and Eisenhower were to their parents. Everybody knows the news before the evening news comes on.”

The site also allows you to view all the past lists, which is a fun exercise in history and procrastination.


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    I'm a Teach For America alum and spent three years as a high school teacher on the west and south sides of Chicago. I've conducted research on turnaround schools with a team from the University of Virginia, consulted for school districts across the country, and done work with New Leaders for New Schools, the Consortium on Chicago School Research, and DonorsChoose.org. Currently I'm finishing my PhD from UVa's Curry School of Education.

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    I am a contributor for GOOD, the website “for people who give a damn.” You can read my June column here. Past columns can be found here.